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Explainer: Violence In Tajikistan's Badakhshan Province A Legacy Of The Civil War

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Government forces have recently clashed with armed groups in Tajikistan's remote Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province, a mountainous region along the Afghan border that has existed largely outside Dushanbe's control for decades. RFE/RL's Robert Coalson takes a quick look at Badakhshan and the wider impact of unrest there.

Relatively few people have heard of Tajikistan's Badakhshan region. Why is it important?

Badakhshan is an isolated, mountainous region of southeastern Tajikistan that shares a long and virtually open border with Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, and China. The region has considerable mineral wealth and is also a corridor for illegal trafficking in cigarettes, alcohol, and narcotics -- particularly Afghan heroin.

It has a population of about 250,000, most of whom belong to the Pamiri ethnic group and are Shi'ite Muslims of the Ismaili sect. Tajikistan is a Sunni-majority country.

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A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Explainer: Violence In Tajikistan's Badakhshan Province A Legacy Of The Civil War

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